Beyond The Language Barrier, Aboard The Feels Ship: Thaikkudam Bridge@ Hard Rock Cafe
One reads the quote 'Music has no boundaries...' and often wonders what a cliche' it is. A language you don't understand, a genre you're not so fond of, a venue which is known for serving hangovers with a pinch of broken necks, and yet somehow I convinced myself to be at this iconic Hard Rock Cafe in Mumbai to witness Thaikkduam Bridge (TB) live, a band that everyone has only good things to say about.
I had first heard about them when they covered Metallica's precious gem 'Nothing else matters' and gave it their own violin twist to it, with a much more heavy sound on the vocals. One look at it and you knew these guys were different, way different from the chaos out there. Back to back sold out crowds at NH7 Weekenders, all across the country and folks couldn’t stop talking about them. Luckily for me, HRC presented Thaikkudam Bridge and The Ganesh Talkies down for their 10th-anniversary line of gigs.
We walked in a little late, by around 9 pm, because you don't expect any gigs to start on-time in Mumbai but much to our surprise Thaikkudam boys were already on to their 3rd song for the night and Hard Rock Cafe was packed within minutes of our arrival. Even Arnab Goswami, who walked in by around 9.30 found it a little hard to get in first, pretty sure even he couldn't have found a table for himself irrespective of high pitched notes. TB was a genuine treat to explore. I didn't understand a single word but I was humming to the tunes of 'Appozhum' and 'Chekele'. Every now and then they broke into a few familiar tunes of 'Enter Sandman' and my personal favorite 'Nothing Else Matters' but nothing matched the energy of 'Fish Rock' and their closing track 'Nostalgia'. Mithun Raju is way more than just another pretty face on the stage; a core part of the band, he was quite the lead on many things with Vian playing the mad bass man around him. Peethambaran has a soulful voice, one that you need to experience in a live setting when he's in all his glory while Anish just knows how to get the crowd going with his energy.
Thaikkudam Bridge is definitely something you shouldn't miss out on if they are playing close to you, even if you don't understand Malayalam, especially if you don't. Because it was hard to not feel a thing or two when they played 'Appozhum', didn't feel the need to shazam that track, just knew what I was looking for when I was searching for this one back home after the gig, do check it out at once if you haven't. A Hard Rock Cafe night is incomplete without a moshpit and their crew dancing off to 'YMCA' and a few more cult hits. A resident DJ took over the controls of the night as TB wrapped up their performance by 11.30 pm. The crew members stuck around for the night to meet and gracefully get clicked with fans. Any complaints about the night? Only if I had a coin for every time someone asked me, 'Are you a Mallu?'.